The Best Life's lead nutritionist shares the number one most important thing every new diabetic must know—her blood sugar level.
The only way to truly know how your blood sugar is doing is to check it. This is so critical that it's the first goal on the Best Life diabetes program. (You can skip this goal if you have pre-diabetes).
But don't stop there: Next, record that number. Trust me on this one; you'll never remember those numbers if you don't log them! We offer a variety of logging tools—from simple pen-and-paper logs you can print out to easy online logging, which offers lots of great features to help you discern your blood sugar patterns.
That's the ultimate goal of testing and logging—to spot patterns and figure out what you're doing right and what you could improve upon to get the best possible blood sugar. You'll find out which meals are kindest on blood sugar and whether exercise causes blood sugar to go up or down (which, in turn, could mean you need to adjust medication accordingly).
You and your doctor may have worked out a testing schedule. If not, here's one that will give you good information. You may need to test more often—this is just a suggested schedule.
Check your fasting sugar first thing in the morning, before breakfast or any activity.
Check again two hours after breakfast (start counting the time from the beginning of the meal).
Check right before lunch.
Check again two hours after lunch.
Check right before dinner.
Check again two hours after dinner.
Day 4 and After
Repeat the above cycle, choosing a different meal each day.
If there are several hours between the after-dinner test and when you go to bed, do a pre-bedtime test some days.
On a few occasions, set an alarm clock and do a test in the middle of the night (2 or 3 a.m. for most people). This is especially valuable if you wake up with a high blood sugar level or do not sleep well.